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Safety first: What you should know about calling 911

MADAWASKA, Maine — The time has come you hoped would never happen — you have to call 911. Whether you are driving or at home, here are some things for you to know about making the call, and to do ahead of time to prepare for the call.

Calling 911 can be flustering depending on the situation and reason for calling. Prepping ahead of time in case of 911 emergencies can help alleviate some of the stress and confusion. 

“Try to stay calm and provide that information. The sooner we get that info from you, the sooner we can get someone there to help you,” said Cmdr. Joey Seeley with the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office. “Sometimes it is hard to stay calm because of what is going on in front of you, but the sooner we get that info, the sooner we can get there.” 

Jessica Page with the Madawaska Ambulance Service suggested that to help with medical calls, people should have an emergency medical sheet on or near their refrigerators. There is even a form online that Page said has room for all the most important information, including past medical and surgical history, medications and allergies called the Vial of Life form. 

“It is especially good to have that information handy for children as well as adults,” she said. “Babysitters can also use the sheets in case of an emergency to help relay information to 911 operators.” 

Seeley suggested that the public also always be aware of their surroundings and know where they are at all times — this includes where you are on the road when traveling. 

“Try to remember where you’re at, so we can get emergency people where you are as quickly as we can,” he said. 

He added that sometimes the operator will not ask as many questions because they already got a call from someone else, but sometimes they will ask questions that people don’t think of. 

Often times, the operators will get multiple calls about the same crash in an area, but they have to be sure that it is the same emergency being reported and not one down the road. Regardless of how many people you think have called about the same accident, don’t be hesitant to call 911 if see a situation that warrants a call. 

“There are no calls that waste our time, but people need to keep in mind that 911 is for emergencies only,” he said. “The emergency would mean you need an immediate response from us police, fire, ambulance, something that would require an immediate response.”  

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, do not be afraid to call 911.

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